Surgical Skills for Midwives & Women's Health Clinicians

Aurora, Colorado
Thursday, August 03, 2017
Learning Objectives
Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to:
1. Describe methods to develop and maintain competency and confidence in the surgical skill-set used by midwives during vaginal or cesarean birth.
2. Apply theory and demonstrate skills necessary to perform knot-tying and suturing skills effectively and autonomously.
3. Describe the maternal and fetal indications for episiotomy and 3 episiotomy techniques with benefits and potential harms of each.
4. Describe and demonstrate optimal handling of the instruments and needles used when repairing a woman’s tissues following childbirth.
5. Describe and demonstrate techniques commonly used when evaluating and repairing a woman’s tissues following childbirth.
6. Demonstrate knowledge of the role of the first assistant in midwifery practice and the professional requirements to expand the midwifery scope of practice to include surgical first assisting. Discuss professional issues related to the midwife functioning in this role.
7. Plan a structured mentored clinical experience to obtain competency as a first assistant.
8. Identify and demonstrate application of current recommendations for aseptic surgical practices.
9. Demonstrate theory and skill-set necessary to perform effectively and autonomously as the surgical first assistant in OB/GYN surgery.
10. Discuss surgical anatomy/physiology, preoperative patient preparation, surgical techniques and variations, and associated procedures.
11. Identify common approaches and surgical techniques and the role of the first assistant during cesarean.


Nell Tharpe, CNM, CRNFA, MS, FACNM is Adjunct Faculty at Philadelphia University and Birthwise Midwifery School in Bridgeton, Maine.  Nell has created nationally recognized on-line and hands-on programs for midwives covering suturing and perineal repair, surgical assisting for women undergoing cesarean section, and newborn resuscitation in the home and birth center setting. Nell is the author of the ACNM text The Midwife as Surgical First Assistant, and Clinical Practice Guidelines for Midwifery & Women‘s Health (Jones & Bartlett Publishers).

Jessica Anderson, MSN, CNM, WHNP is a Senior Instructor and Director for the Center for Midwifery at the University of Colorado College of Nursing.  She joined the University of Colorado faculty in 2005 from Wisconsin where she completed her graduate education at Marquette University.  Jessica's professional interests include exercise in pregnancy, water birth, nitrous oxide for labor, women's health care policy, quality improvement, and immunizations. She is active on committees with the March of Dimes, Colorado Health Department, Colorado Hospital Association, and ACNM.  She is currently President of the ACNM Colorado Affiliate and is in the process of completing her Doctorate in Nursing Practice.   

Amy Nacht, DNP, CNM, MPH Assistant Professor & Director at University Nurse Midwives, has worked with University Nurse Midwives since 2008.  Prior to joining the University Nurse Midwives, Amy worked in rural Colorado for 6 years.  Amy’s professional interests include global health, quality improvement projects, perinatal mood disorders and medical education.  She lectures for both the University of Colorado College of Nursing and the School of Medicine and is actively involved with the University of Colorado Center for Global Health.  

Contact Information

  • University of Colorado College of Nursing
    Office of Continuing Nursing Education
    Ph. 303-724-6883

Payment Instructions

  • Preferred payment method is by credit card.

    If you need to pay by check, your registration will not be confirmed until your check is received in our office.  Checks must be received by: 
    July 20, 2017.

    Make check payable to:
    Regents of the University of Colorado

    Remit payment to: 
    University of Colorado
    College of Nursing, C288-11
    13120 East 19th Ave.
    Aurora, CO 80045